Today we explore the Castle of Florac, a former salt loft during the French Revolution, in south-central France. Surrounded by the lovely Cévennes National Park, the castle serves as the park's information center. France is also the home of featured jewelry designer Christophe Burger.
Burger is another prime example of a designer with distinctive, varied interests. A linguist and scholar of English Literature, Burger explored his creative aspirations studying goldsmithing and jewelry design over 30 years ago at France's Strasbourg School of Applied Arts.
In 1977, he set up his workshop, Heliodor, and participated in the European Watch, Clock, and Jewellery Fair in Basle, France from 1980 to 1993.
Burger's modern design approach caught the attention of renowned Finnish jewelry designer Björn Weckström. In 1989, Burger accepted a designing position with Weckström's company Lapponia Jewelry Oy where he continues to work. By 1994, Burger would close his own workshop.
Weckström's curvaceous almost cream-like designs provide an interesting contrast to Burger's more angular and geometric 18-karat gold and sterling silver pieces. His signature is placing small fissures and cracks along the surface of his pieces adding visual depth and texture.
He also designs beautiful eternity bands called Anô Rings for the company's Eterno Collection. Burger's overall philosophy regarding jewelry is this: "Wearing jewelry is a specific way to express individuality. Every human being has a need to be recognized as an individual."
While employed with Lapponia Jewelry, Burger established Corpus in 1992, serving as Vice President. Named for the city in France, Corpus is a group that "brings together European jewelry designers to reflect on the jewel-object."
Burger loves implementing special monikers for his creations opting for something that conveys a message. "Jewelry is a non-verbal message to the wearer and to others who see the jewelry. The message is unique and universal yet always refers to our humanity."
Burger's numerous awards include the Insolites prize from the De Beers Jewellery Design Competition in 1979; the Professional Artists' Regional Prize, and the World Gold Corporation's Jewellery Design Award for Best Gold Design in 1980.
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Yellow Gold Anô Homme Ring
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Yellow Gold Eariads Earrings